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What is the purpose served by cicadas in anime?

In Japan, cicadas are symbolic of summer, and possibly symbolize reincarnation as well, based on summer being the time when the cicada comes out to sing.[1] As per their role in anime, according to ...
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23 votes
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Why is it that almost every anime I watch is about School kids?

My feeling is that Hakase's answer is half-correct. I agree that characters are generally chosen so that the target audience can relate to them. However, I disagree that means that they're necessarily ...
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23 votes
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Why is it that the swordsman's attacks appear to do nothing until they click the sword back into its sheath?

This trope is usually attributed to Fist of The North Star, after Kenshiro attacks someone he pauses and says "You are already dead". It is only then that they realise their defeat and the attacks are ...
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22 votes
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Why do sword owners tap them with a fluffy ball on a stick?

This “fluffy ball” is a standard part of any sword care kit (see the red ball in the picture below). It contains some sort of powder ‒ I believe chalk ‒ that is used gather and bind any fluids on the ...
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22 votes
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Why do anime girls have huge chests?

Because some people like women with big breasts. As usual, anime exaggerates; it can't just have a woman with big breasts, it has to have a woman with ridiculously gigantic breasts. This isn't purely ...
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21 votes
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Where did the anime trope of "clothing damage"/"clothes being torn" originate?

The most likely culprit is Go Nagai, the father of Ecchi fan service. You can probably trace it down to as early as "Shameless School", which often had female characters "losing" their clothes: But ...
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20 votes
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Why is there so much reluctant sex in hentai?

Note: Some references have been excluded here for PG reasons. There's a few layers to this question. Firstly, this isn't a hentai-specific thing. Lots of Japanese non-animated porn contains rape. ...
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17 votes

Why do almost all anime series have a "going to the beach" episode?

Is is just for fan service (showing boobs and bikinis)? Mostly yes. Occasionally there are plot points or setting circumstances that require a scene be on a beach (legitimate reasons that is, like a ...
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17 votes
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How did maids get popular in anime?

Most of this is a summary of the paper Maid in Japan: An Ethnographic Account of Alternative Intimacy by Patrick W. Galbraith (author of 'the otaku encyclopaedia') The first maid costume in ...
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16 votes

Why are the seven deadly sins used so often in anime?

First, this question begs the question of “Are the Seven Deadly Sins often used in anime?” Full Metal Alchemist and Soul Eater are provided as examples. Both series deal with the concepts of souls, ...
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16 votes

What was the first anime to have a "please notice me senpai" moment?

In real-life Japanese culture, many people do hope to get and attempt to get the attention of their love interest without ever voicing it or being direct, so this is not an anime/manga-specific trope ...
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16 votes
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Why do most anime have field trips to Kyoto?

Actually it's not only Kyoto. Depending on the manga's theme, the field trip could be anywhere, but yes, most of the time it'd be Okinawa, Hokkaido, Kyoto and Osaka. As a side note, most of the manga ...
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16 votes

Why is the "drinking milk" trope so prevalent in anime?

There's probably no one answer for why they drink milk in general, but as far as the bathing, it's considered a traditional drink in Japanese public bath houses after a soak: There is usually a ...
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16 votes
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Who was the first tsundere character?

According to The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider's Guide to the Subculture of Cool Japan, Lum Invader from Urusei Yatsura is possibly the first tsundere to exist (and also potentially the source of all ...
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16 votes
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Why do ninjas usually replace their own body with a block of wood?

In-universe, no reason is given apart from the fact that every time I can recall this happening they were near trees and thus a chunk of wood was convenient. The actual source is never addressed, and ...
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16 votes
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Do Japanese Student councils have actual power (punishing students, revoking clubs, etc)?

TL;DR: No, real-life student councils do not have absolute powers and aren't as powerful as depicted in anime or manga. Long answer Japanese school life tends to be much more hierarchical and ...
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15 votes
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Why do guys in anime often lack nipples?

Animated male nipples are not a matter of legal Japanese censorship (or copyright law). It is fine to air them on TV in prime time. As Ray noted in a deleted answer, Dragonball, viewed as a most-...
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15 votes
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Where did the Skinship Grope trope come from?

As the member of the Manga & Illustration Society student club at a Japanese national university, I have seen young Japanese women involved in sub-culture perform this joking action in public in ...
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15 votes
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What are the squinting faces (>_<, >o<, >△<, etc.) called?

In the media/anime-verse, they do not have any specific name for themselves. The eyes themselves form a part of the Wingding Eyes: For animated characters, the eyes are the windows to the soul—...
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14 votes

What is the purpose served by cicadas in anime?

I grew up in an area that was close to sea level (a bit further south than Japan) and in the Spring and Summer I recall hearing cicadas just about every time I went outside. I suspect the effect in ...
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14 votes

How did the lolicon genre begin in anime/manga?

Adding onto Angelo's answer, the rise of the trend seems to coincide with the rise of idol culture in Japan. The idol phenomenon began during the early 1970s, reflecting a boom in Japan for the ...
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14 votes

Why is it that almost every anime I watch is about School kids?

One of the most obvious reasons is that it's because of the target audience. The majority of anime titles are aimed at school kids, so there are school kids in it. Of course there are small important ...
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14 votes
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What was the first magical girl transformation scene?

The first 'magical girl' anime was Sally The Witch, who transformed with a wand into another costume - This was a simple animation though and performed in the same cut as the rest of the scene. Sally ...
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14 votes

What is this type of hairstyle?

This is a sub-trope of Anime Hair, which is known as the Hair Intakes A sub-trope of Anime Hair, this hairstyle resembles the hood scoops on a muscle car and also looks a bit like cat ears, allowing ...
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13 votes

What is the significance of anime characters' catch phrases?

There are 2 different things that you're picking up on: catch phrases proper, versus copulas. Both of these can be utilized in 1) making a character easy to remember, 2) setting the character apart in ...
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13 votes
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Is there a reason for the "Hair of Death" hair style?

This meme seems to be a conflation of two very different things. First, Hyakuya Akane from Owari no Seraph (the girl on the lower part of the image) does not share the low below-the-shoulder ponytail ...
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13 votes
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What do people mean when they say "Notice me, senpai"?

This is a meme in the English-speaking internet anime community. This particular phrasing appears to have come into existence around December 2013 (according to Google Trends), though variants are ...
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12 votes

Why do many characters tend to have crazy hair colors and styles?

Question #1: Why do many characters tend to have crazy hair colors? What is the cultural origin of such a style? The origin of this practice is the primarily black and white medium of manga. Manga ...
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12 votes
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What's with this face in Nichijou?

I think it's just Nichijou's art style and how it expresses the fact the characters are gone past surprise at strange happenings and have come to accept it, the glazed over eyes and straight-line ...
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12 votes
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Definition of a reverse trap

A traditional 'trap' is a boy disguised as a female. Note that this is not simply boys who look feminine, but characters who are pretending to be the opposite sex or who are presumed to be by the ...
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